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Learning from Pain

Love and compassion for people who have hurt us in the past are hard to come by. Yet, our most painful experiences can hold the most valuable gifts?

As a kid, I didn't grow up in a happy, healthy environment. My parents didn't interact with me lovingly and happily. My memories of parental love are replaced by strict rules and violence. As a 19-year-old, I finally stood up for myself, but I kept abusing myself mentally and emotionally. It was hard for me to heal and I carried that pain from the past over into my present.

Throughout my childhood, my family did not take me to a psychologist, and later in life, I was referred to as "the crazy one" by my close relatives, leading me to believe that I was alone in the world.

Constant reminders of my inferiority to other children who were smarter, weren't as skinny, played tennis, and had better grades... made me grow up with the belief that I was worthless. I was not even upset when people treated me poorly because I thought... that's just how life is. Sadly, I carried this belief into adulthood, and I shaped my life accordingly. In some way, I was attracting people into my life which only proved this theory. I allowed others to treat me as if I had no value. It became increasingly difficult as I grew older, and in 2013, I reached rock bottom. Two years earlier I divorced my husband thinking that I can do everything on my own, but I didn’t know how. My social circle has become increasingly smaller until I had no more friends left. I spent the next few years in and out of hospitals with serious, but unexplained health issues. I felt as if I was constantly hitting the walls and I couldn't handle this any longer. In order to cope with my situation, I played a game I called "How to survive the next hour." That's how bad I was...

In 2016, I began reading about personal development, emotional intelligence, behavioral neuroscience, and even quantum mechanics to understand energy and consciousness.

Trying to apply that wisdom to my life, something slowly began to shift and I was able to open up. As a result, I began to view my past as a life lesson. Even though I know that my treatment as a child was unfair and I did nothing to deserve it, I never hated my parents. It has always been my intention to be a good person, and I would have given my life for my mother.

Once, we visited an aunt and stayed there until very late at night. We had to pass an old cemetery on our way back home. At that hour, there was nobody else on the street except us. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and I was very scared. Therefore, I switched places with my mother in order to be the one closer to the cemetery. My tiny mind was filled with the idea that if something scary emerged from the cemetery, I would be attacked first, and my mom would have time to escape.

The more I accepted my past and searched for meaning in it, the easier it got. No matter how scary it was, I had to embrace the skeletons in my closet. By doing so, I realized they had taught me my most profound lesson and turned me into the person I am today.

There were times when I would be short with other people and say mean things to them. Afterward, I would cry and wonder why I had done this. It reminds me of my mother and how she treated me as a child. There is a possibility that it was not because she was unworthy of a child, but simply because she was in a bad situation. There may have also been a great deal of pain accumulated in her life, but she didn't know how to cope with it and started to crumble. 
It enabled me to realize that there was nothing wrong with me. If people treated me unkindly, it had nothing to do with me, I just allowed them to make me feel less valuable by treating me in this way. This understanding allowed me to take responsibility for my life for the first time.

Buddha once said: 
No one can save us except ourselves. 
No one can, no one may 
 We ourselves must walk the path

Regardless of what has happened to us in the past and how badly people treated us. We are not defined by it. The past does not have to equate with the present and future of your life. Whenever I decided to make a commitment to myself, let go of the past judgments, resentments, toxic thinking, and the need to control others... everything changed. As I peeled away all these layers, I was able to tap into something beautiful and peaceful. I discovered talents I didn’t know I had and felt as if life had begun to take care of me for the first time.

For some reason, we tend to hold on to our painful past, yet that attachment prevents us from moving forward.

When I encounter people who treat me in a manner that I do not appreciate, it is my responsibility to let them go. 
Trusting and surrendering to whatever life has to offer is essential. The German author and spiritual teacher Eckhard Tolle stated: "Life will give you whatever experiences are most beneficial to the evolution of your consciousness.".

My past is evidence of that.

Understanding the pain I have been able to purify my life and learn to live differently.

In order to build a relationship, one must spend quality time with the other party. If we wish to improve our relationships with ourselves, the same rule applies. It is important to take time to be alone with yourself. There are many individuals who do not enjoy being alone because they simply do not enjoy their own company. It was difficult for me too until I allowed myself to enjoy nature, meditate, write, and be away from everyone without feeling lonely. Currently, I am a pleasant person to be around and the majority of people enjoy my company. There is no need for me to seek approval from anyone, since they readily provide it.

Furthermore, during this healing process, it is important to express your gratitude for all the events that have taken place in your life. The good and the bad experiences. Thus, you will likely be able to recognize all the lessons that pain has to offer.

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